The University and the Ardgowan Hospice have built on their already close links and have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).
This Partnership Agreement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations in December 2014. In the period since the MoU was signed the clinical academic partnership between the two organisations has strengthened and there have been a variety of strategic benefits for both UWS and the Hospice.
A key area of collaboration since 2014 has been a two-year research project which looked at ways of improving various aspects of the patient experience when being referred to and accessing hospice services. This innovative project is providing fascinating insights into what patients want and how processes can be improved to deliver their desired outcomes. The findings from this project have shown improvements in care provided to the people of Inverclyde, and it is hoped this ongoing work will result in improved palliative care provision across Scotland.
This initial MoU in 2014 between the two organisations also saw the Greenock-based charity become a university teaching hospice, leading the way in education and training for health and social care professionals.
UWS and the Hospice are key organisations in the field of health and social care in Inverclyde and each is committed to working collaboratively with the other to support the achievement of their respective strategic objectives.
This new agreement will see the University and Hospice further strengthen their relationship and focus resources on those high priority areas that are common to both organisations’ strategic plans. This will include the development of collaborative research projects, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), exchange lecturing and consultancy, and collaborative supervision of research students.
The SPA, which was signed by Anne Mills, Chief Executive of Ardgowan Hospice and Karen Wilson, Dean of the University’s School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, reinforces a continued commitment to combine joint specialist knowledge and research skills to help improve the lives of people with life-limiting illness, their families, partners and carers across Inverclyde and the West of Scotland.
Karen Wilson said: “The University has close ties with a number of charities and third sector organisations throughout Scotland and we are delighted to have signed this Strategic Partnership Agreement with Ardgowan.”
Anne Mills said: “Our partnership with UWS is very important to us and has resulted in the dissemination of our innovative quality improvement work at a global level. The people of Inverclyde have access to truly groundbreaking and innovative approaches to patient care and this is achieved by keeping a focus on their care being at the heart of all that we do. The continuous development of our staff and their practice is crucial to success and the partnership ensures our approach has the necessary academic guidance and support. Dr Sandra McConnell is undertaking the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s, Improvement Advisors course, improving the quality of care and providing access to specialist clinics closer to home; while Alison Bunce, the Programme Lead for Compassionate Inverclyde, is leading groundbreaking research into the positive attributes of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to support people to die at home. Dr Caroline Sime. our first joint research appointment has made a huge impact on patient experience improving access times to the service, and Dr Stuart Milligan has ensured that staff are developing their practice in readiness for new and innovative ways of working, keeping people and their families at the heart of all we do.”
Professor Paul Martin, Depute Principal, said: “We are delighted to build on our already close links with Ardgowan Hospice and to further develop joint research and practice that will benefit palliative care patients and their families in Inverclyde and beyond.”